Feb 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Missouri Tigers wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham catches a pass during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
16. TEXANS OPTION #1 – Select the next best available Wide Receiver – DORIAL GREEN-BECKHAM- With Kevin White, Amari Cooper, and DeVante Parker off the board, the front office and coaching staff will have to evaluate who is the better receiver between Dorial Green-Beckham from Missouri and Jaelen Strong from Arizona State.
Dorial Green-Beckham is the bigger option and is often (unfairly) compared to Megatron. Unfortunately for the Texans, DGB is not Calvin Johnson. He is nowhere near fast enough, can’t jump as high, and also comes with multiple off the field issues. His ceiling is high, but would be a very risky selection at 16th overall.
Jaelen Strong is smaller than DGB but is more explosive. He impressed during the combine with the highest vertical jump at his position and a 4.44 40-yard dash. Algorithms at Rotoviz.com concluded that Jaelen Strong could be the best wide receiver of this class in a few years down the road.
The coaches will have a tough time deciding between the two players because neither of them are top-10 talents, but I think the upside of Dorial Green-Beckham wins out. If coach Bill O’Brien was able to rally and fix the Penn State program, I have the confidence that he could straighten up DGB’s off the field issues.
TEXANS Option #2 – Draft another need – If the Texans are not comfortable with Dorial Green-Beckham or Jaeleen Strong, they can fill a need at linebacker or nose tackle. NT is very important in a 3-4 base defensive scheme because there needs to be a big lineman filling the A gaps against the run and creating pressure during pass plays.
Danny Shelton, Arik Armstead, Eddie Goldman, and Malcom Brown are all massive defensive tackles that can fill this need. The rumors of signing Vince Wilfork at the tackle spot are not going away and is something to monitor closely. Linebacker is the other main defensive need for this year’s draft. Paul Dawson, Shaq Thomson, and Benardrick McKinney are Inside linebacker options who should be available.
TEXANS Option #3 – Trade Up – When looking at team needs, the Texans will notice that there is a gap between pick 5 and 9 where teams will most likely not be taking a wide receiver. The Texans will need to trade up to get a super star talent at receiver to pair with emerging star DeAndre Hopkins. As mentioned before, the Rams, Vikings, Browns, Dolphins, and 49ers are too receiver needy to let any of the top-3 fall to the Texans.
The only way to get Kevin White, Amari Cooper, or DeVante Parker is to move in front of those teams. The Giants, 9th pick, in particular, make sense to trade with the Texans because they are highly interested in an offensive lineman. The teams drafting between 9th and 16th, where the Giants would pick after a potential trade, are not interested in Offensive Line. The Giants will be drafting the same player at 9th as they would at 16th and would also stock up on draft picks. The Texans are so desperate to help quarterbacks Ryan Mallett or Brian Hoyer that sacrificing later picks would be worth it to land the talents of either Kevin White or Amari Cooper.
TEXANS Option #4 – Trade down – This option is by far the least likely because there are a few teams directly behind the Texans who will be looking at Dorial Green-Beckham and Jaelen Strong. The Chargers were reported trying to sign Andre Johnson, which leads me to believe that they will be considering a wideout.
The Chiefs signed receiver Jeremy Maclin to a 5 year deal, but also released Dwayne Bowe. They also could be in the mix. The Browns second pick of the first round is a possibility to address a play making need if they decide to take offensive line before. Anyway, you get the point. The Texans can’t trade back or they will lose the next tier of wide receivers.
The most likely option is the Option #1. Drafting Dorial Green-Beckham is very risky but his ceiling is too high to ignore. Jaelen Strong also could be a match if the Texans want to sacrifice upside for safety, but the NFL seems to take chances on risky players early in every draft.
However, if the Texans are able to trade up into the top 10, they should do it. The trade would be a first, a third, and another mid-to-late pick just to move up seven draft slots, but would solidify a very needy position. Pairing DeAndre Hopkins with Kevin White or Amari Cooper is exactly what needs to happen if Ryan Mallet is going to groom into a viable starting quarterback.
Young wide receivers are starting to take over the game and no team in the NFL would have younger talent out on the perimeter than the Houston Texans. Forgetting the receiver position seems silly because choosing another nose tackle seems to be a waste of last year’s third round pick Louis Nix III. Attacking the biggest need is volatile in the first round if the Texans want to win the division against a stacked Indianapolis Colts roster.
Please leave comments and I will be sure to respond to questions you may have in the comment box below. If you are a fan of a team that drafts below the Texans, I can post the rest of my first round mock draft below in the comments section.
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